NJ Sports Betting Sees $315M In Wagers In July As Major Leagues Return

Posted on August 12, 2020

Unsurprisingly, the return of major sports toward the end of July had a major impact on New Jersey sports betting.

New Jersey’s sportsbooks took $315.1 million in bets last month, proving there is significant pent-up demand for those who want to bet on major US sports. That’s up 91% over June’s total and up 25.4% over last July.

Revenue was $29.6 million, according to the state’s report. That’s up 65.2% over last July, which typically is one of the more quiet sports betting months.

The nine days of MLB games and eight total NBA games had a significant impact on New Jersey sports betting volume, though most operators declined to say just how much.

A spokesperson for FanDuel Sportsbook said the back half of the month “definitely outpaced the front end.” And a BetMGM spokesperson said the sportsbook has seen record handle size and activity since the return of major US sports.

Breakdown of NJ sports betting totals

New Jersey’s reporting method for how much was bet on what sport is a bit convoluted, as LSR has explained in the past. But the market can get an idea of handle by sport by subtracting July’s tally of completed event handle by sport from June’s total.

But even without direct totals, the impact of major US sports is very clear.

There was $59.6 million bet on completed baseball games in July, up from $7 million in June. Those eight NBA games, meanwhile, helped basketball handle hit $20.8 million in July. There was just $3.2 million bet on completed basketball games in June.

Parlays saw a significant increase as well with $70.6 million bet on completed events. That’s up from $27.4 million in June.

There was a strange discrepancy in the report, however. According to completed event revenue and handle, football lost about $2 million in revenue and $20.6 million in handle from the June’s totals.

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement said it was looking into the issue.

Last month for ‘other’ to take top spot?

The sports betting category of “other” is defined differently in every state, but it essentially encapsulates most of the sports that could be bet during the coronavirus pandemic.

There was $174.1 million bet on completed events in the “other” category in July, once again making it by far the most bet category. That includes betting on sports like NASCAR, PGA Tour golf, UFC and domestic and foreign soccer leagues.

But that will likely come to an end now that the MLB, NBA and NHL are back. August will clearly benefit from the unusual presence of NBA and NHL games. MLB games should also get more handle than usual considering there are 102 fewer games this season.

Either way, even if the category sticks around on top in August, it should have no chance in September. If the National Football League returns on time, NFL betting will once again become the favorite and rule the books.

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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